It’s been years since I last saw a Taiwanese drama which is good, so I’m positively thrilled to have discovered 我的自由年代 (In a good way). funny, the translation should be “My age of freedom” or more accurately in Korean 나의 자유 시대.
Set in the year 1995 and in a college setting, the first thing k-drama fans will think of is perhaps the Reply series (more specifically 1994). However, the tone (and story) can’t be more different.
People who are used to the polished, sleek visuals (both the shooting sets / people themselves) of and fast-paced storytelling (not counting makjang dramas) of k-dramas may at first find the tone of In a good way a little jarring. It was like that for me, especially since I watched ep 1 after finishing an episode of Heirs.
But in a good way captures very nicely what I love about Taiwanese dramas – the sincere tone, the realistic settings and the well-paced story that makes you feel as if you are a part of the story.
There is no gimmick (we don’t need to fight over who’s the husband – I’m team Chilbong still btw), no excessively pretty campus/dorms/wardrobes, but loads of heart and soul in the story.
Maybe it’s when you take out the (excessively) pretty that you can see all the heart beneath a story.
Not to say that there isn’t any pretty.
Male lead Lego Li is ❤. He totally reminds me of both Go Soo and Jo Jung Suk and that’s a pretty good combination!
I remember a lot of people saying that they want a Lee Da Ren (from Taiwanese drama In time for you) in their real lives. I was never a fan of his character (nor that show), but at this rate this show’s going, I’m going to say I want a Liu Chuan in my life hehe.
GO WAATCH. like now.
Watching this is also making me assess K-dramas in a more objective way and I realized that I’ve a few bones to pick with K-dramas. I love looking at pretty people in k-dramas, but now I realized how pristine and perfect they really look o.O Perfect complexion, ever-changing wardrobe, not a hair out of place.
I’m not complaining about the stunning visuals, but sometimes being too polished take out the heart in the drama. One annoying thing is how the poor heroine doesn’t look poor. Sure, she usually lives in a pretty run-down neighborhood or rooftop house, but most of the time the interior happens to look sooooo spacious, with so much pretty things. Her clothes are usually quite down-to-earth at first (like ep 1-2), but then stealthily it gets prettier and prettier (without any improvements in her financial situation).
Look at Heirs, I think Park Shin Hye’s clothes are getting nicer and nicer in each episode.
Watching Playful Kiss makes the comparison between k and t-dramas a lot more obvious. There was sooo much heart and soul in ISWAK and I felt like I was living in that world with them throughout the show, but Playful Kiss never managed that feat. It just zipped by all the emotional parts and I felt that I was just watching a very polished and pretty show that got more and more boring -.- There were many scenes that stood out for me in ISWAK and I was looking forward to seeing how they will be done in Playful Kiss, but I was disappointed every.single.time.
oh, I totally laughed when Seung Joo moved out to this high-end studio apartment with like really nice interior design when he’s supposed to leave home to become more independent and find out what he can achieve on his own. sigh.
I should stop clinging to the last shred of logic and just enjoy the pretty.